Against a background of increasing risks to fire safety in the commercial kitchen environment, Chubb Fire has developed a range of products to meet the growing needs of restaurants, hotels and pubs in dealing with the danger and complying with the new Fire Safety Order.
According to the National Statistics from the DGLC, 2900 fires were reported in restaurants, cafés and public houses in 2004 and 5100 fires were started by cooking appliances. Given that only 20% of fires are officially accounted for, and attended by the fire brigade, the actual figures could be dramatically higher.
Nigel Roddie, Chubb Fire’s Business Manager explains: “Commercial kitchens are often busy, hectic environments and the fryers, griddles, ranges and ventilation ducts are high risk areas which have the potential to cause very serious fires. As specialists in preventing, detecting, containing and escaping from fire, it is crucial that Chubb Fire has a range of products specifically designed to cope with these risks.”
In terms of fire suppression, a specifically designed cooker hood fire suppression system is available from Chubb Fire. The self-contained stainless steel enclosure can be installed either to be appliance specific (with a nozzle aimed at specific danger areas) or overlapping across a range of appliances. Triggered by a fusible link which separates at a certain temperature and causes the release of a compressed gas cylinder, the system can provide automatic fire detection. An extinguishing wet chemical agent is then dispensed directly onto the fire, suppressing it within seconds and covering it with a specially formulated wet chemical solution which, when applied to the burning oil, cools and emulsifies it. This process immediately seals the surface and prevents re-ignition inhibiting the release of flammable vapours and cools the area, helping to prevent fire re-flashes.
For John Wylie, Recruitment Officer responsible for Health and Safety at the Oriental School of Cookery in Hackney, East London, this provides the perfect solution. “Based in the grounds of Hackney Community Collage, we operate a restaurant which offers Thai, Chinese and Indian food and a large open plan training kitchen for up to 40 people. When I joined in 2002, we undertook a risk assessment of all areas and decided to use the cooker hood fire suppression system from Chubb. Not only does it give us the peace of mind that if temperatures get too high it will be automatically activated, it also sets a good example to the students and demonstrates that we are taking a proactive and responsible attitude to fire safety. Chubb checks and services the equipment very satisfactorily once a year and so far, thank goodness, we have not had cause to use it.”
For smaller kitchens Chubb Fire also has a Class F Wet Chemical extinguisher. Known as the Fry Fighter™, it has been developed specifically for fires resulting from cooking oils and fats.